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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

As more and more people continue to implement second-hand fashion into their closets, it’s clear that thrift shopping isn’t just a temporary fad of the 2010s. Not only is the process helpful to shoppers’ pockets, but it’s also a great way to decrease an individual’s carbon footprint by avoiding fast fashion options and purchasing affordable clothing, household decor, and other preloved items instead.

Athens, GA is home to an extensive selection of thrift stores for locals and visitors alike, but if you’re new to the scene or just looking for insider information, it can be difficult to know which spots to hit. Here are seven of our favorite thrift shops in Athens and what makes them unique!

project safe
  • If you haven’t heard of Project Safe, they’re a nonprofit organization (founded here in Athens, GA) working to end domestic violence through prevention and educational programs, crisis intervention, ongoing supportive services for survivors of domestic violence and their children, and advocacy/systems change work in our community. 
  • 90 cents of every dollar made goes towards supporting domestic violence client services and programs. Additionally, Project Safe clients can shop for free at the thrift store using vouchers and are also given priority on any donated items. 
  • Shopping here is a great way to support the cause, and find some awesome secondhand items for your closet and house. With some great prices on clothing, you can usually find pieces for as low as 50 cents an item, and they offer deals that save you even more money depending on how much you buy from a certain category. It’s definitely worth checking out, as they have a large selection of books and affordable clothing to browse through.
st. mary’s auxillary thrift store
  • Operated in conjunction with St. Mary’s hospital and run entirely by volunteers, this spot is a hidden gem in Athens. Note that the hours can be a little bit confusing during COVID, so make sure you do a quick google search before you head over there.
  • Prices here are definitely affordable but not the cheapest you can find in Athens. This is a great spot to hit up for vintage items, from clothing and jewelry all the way to household items and decor. They’ve also got a nice selection of picture frames, books, vintage bags, and even a wedding gown selection. Plus, lots of seasonal decors, which currently include an entire rack of Halloween costumes!
plato’s closet
  • While Plato’s closet doesn’t quite fit the vibe of the other thrift stores in Athens, that doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy of recognition. Focused on providing higher quality, trendy, and name-brand clothing and accessories, you’ll be sure to come upon some great finds for a fraction of their original cost. However, since you’re removing the “hunt” aspect from thrifting as most of these products are generally good quality, you can expect to pay a little bit more than you might at another thrifting location.
  • Plato’s closet can be a great spot to hit if you’re looking for specific brands/pieces that are trending. Looking to wear some fast fashion/viral styles? Check out Plato’s to shop more sustainably and get the same trendy items, without the ecological guilt of ordering directly from the seller. We recommend checking out Plato’s Closet for Game Day, Date Night, and Going Out Attire.
atlanta mission: athens thrift store
  • Another great thrift option in Athens, Atlanta Mission has the same vibe as Goodwill. The store itself is huge and has a ton of clothing racks at fairly affordable prices. They also have weekly color discounts on tags, such as a 50% off discount or a 99-cent tag.
  • There are a lot of brand-new items in the store, but unlike similar options that feature a more universal price, they tend to hike up the price for new clothing items. Plus, not every item qualifies for the 50% or 99-cent discounts, but that doesn’t mean that they still don’t have great pieces, like tons of clothing, shoes, and some pretty great vintage furniture! Atlanta Mission also has a student discount all day, every day, with a current student ID!
  • You can never go wrong with shopping at your local Goodwill; Athens is home to two locations, each with its own selection of items. While it’s not the easiest thrift store to navigate, you can find some really good stuff at Goodwill and it’s a great spot for super affordable items and a huge variety. Just be mindful that it will take a lot of digging, so make sure to bring some headphones or a friend before you tackle this one.
  • Goodwill offers color tag discounts, and it’s typically best to look for discounted items at the beginning of the week on Monday, when new items are rolled out and the color tag discounts are announced. They’re also a great spot for apparel, especially if you’re into DIYing items or if you’re open to trying new styles. We recommend going here for business casual outfits, costume components, or if you wanna try your hand at up-cycling an old item.
dynamite vintage
  • We weren’t sure if we should include Dynamite Vintage as a thrift store since it’s definitely on the pricier side, but still worth checking out at least once. This is a great spot for trendy, and actually vintage/throwback clothes. However, the prices are nowhere near as close to what they would be at a regular thrift store. You’ll definitely be able to find some awesome pieces there, from 90’s tracksuits to vintage UGA gear, but you’ll be paying for the difference it would have been to just search a bigger store for a couple of golden finds.
  • The entire store isn’t pre-owned and features novelty pieces including a sorority/rave/rush section, with new items in the lofted area. There’s also a great selection of trendy jewelry and accessories to browse through. If you’ve never been, we definitely recommend stopping by to see if the style fits your vibe, especially if your vibe happens to be anything related to the 90s, as that seems to be a raging theme across the shop.
america’s thrift
  • America’s Thrift is a huge spot with a ton of variety and lots of great finds at great prices. With a huge selection of everything from clothing, shoes, household items, furniture, and so much more, this is a perfect one-stop shop for all of your thrifting needs. 
  • Although America’s Thrift’s huge floor space means that they’re a ton of thrifting options, it also means that the store can quickly become overwhelming and oftentimes is super crowded. Find good times to stop by, like earlier in the day, as we recommend avoiding lunchtimes and the end of the work day for a quieter shopping experience.
  • We recommend checking out the HUGE selection of bags/purses, furniture, and all of the home decor. They’re also a great spot for holiday decor shopping, and almost always have a large selection of festive goodies for the next upcoming holiday.

Thrifting can be a tedious process at times, but it is also super rewarding when you’re able to find that perfect piece of your dreams. Take the time this week to treat yourself and check out a couple of these Athens spots, and revamp your closet for the upcoming season while shopping sustainably.

Hannah is currently a Fisheries & Wildlife major pursuing a certificate in Environmental Education. When she's not writing for Her Campus, she can usually be found watching TikToks or looking at animals somewhere.